Thiruvananthapuram: Signalling the first Chinese investments in Kerala, Kottayam-based rubber products manufacturer TJP Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jingdong Rubber Company for two joint ventures.
The agreement was signed following the recent visit of a high-level official delegation from Kerala to China to explore possibilities of Chinese investment in the state.
The delegation visited Jingdong's facilities to assess the technology and infrastructure.
Jingdong, a private company based in China's Hebei province, specialises in rubber waste recycling, production of rubber sheets and mats, and sports goods.
The company proposes to partner with TJP Group in setting up a white reclaimed-rubber production facility and a sports infrastructure firm in Kerala.
"We applaud TJP Group for bringing in the first Chinese joint venture investment to Kerala," said Alkesh Sharma, secretary, industries.
"We hope to see more such partnerships that will help create more jobs and take our business and industrial sectors to greater heights," he said.
TJP Group's first MoU with Jingdong is for a white reclaimed-rubber production unit with an annual capacity of 1,200 tonnes.
White reclaimed-rubber, which is produced from the waste material from latex factories, has high demand overseas, especially in China.
Jingdong, which will invest 30 per cent towards the share capital of the proposed joint venture, has offered to buy the bulk of the production, while the surplus is to be marketed within India and in other countries.
The second proposed joint venture company, in which the Chinese partner would invest 49 per cent of the equity, will take up construction of indoor stadiums, synthetic tracks and courts and similar sports projects.
The state government has provided 10 acres of land in Kasaragod district for setting up the factory.
Jingdong has considerable expertise in construction of sporting arenas, having implemented more than 30 projects, including for the Beijing Olympics.
It makes sports courts, artificial turf and synthetic tracks and has the approval of the International Association of Athletics Federations.
"A sports-loving state, Kerala has produced a number of world class athletes. But sports development has suffered in the past few years due to lack of infrastructure and facilities for talented young sportspersons," said George Thomas, managing partner, TJP Group.